Were you excited for the imminent Winter release of Baz Luhrmann’s luscious-looking adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary masterpiece, The Great Gatsby? Did the sight of its cast in full period costume, particularly Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan (who look like they belong in the 1920s) get your anticipation up? Is Luhrmann’s imagery so scintillating at first blush that you can wait no longer for his film to hit theaters? Then brace yourself for disappointment, because you’re going to have to wait at least six months more to see it.
That’s right– according to Warner Bros. brass, The Great Gatsby has been reallocated from Winter 2012 to Summer 2013. From the studio’s official press release:
Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures have moved the release date of “The Great Gatsby” to Summer 2013. The announcement was made today by Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, and Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President of International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.
In making the announcement, Fellman stated, “Based on what we’ve seen, Baz Luhrmann’s incredible work is all we anticipated and so much more. It truly brings Fitzgerald’s American classic to life in a completely immersive, visually stunning and exciting way. We think moviegoers of all ages are going to embrace it, and it makes sense to ensure this unique film reaches the largest audience possible.”
Kwan Vandenberg confirmed, “Baz is known for being innovative, but with this film he has done something completely unexpected—making it in 3D—while capturing the emotion, the intimacy, the power and the spectacle of the time. The responses we’ve had to some of the early sneak peeks have been phenomenal, and we think ‘The Great Gatsby’ will be the perfect summer movie around the world.”
The press release speaks to a desire to guarantee Luhrmann’s film a massive audience, but read between the lines and it’s clear that the real motivating factor here is money. After all, what do bigger audiences mean? Bigger box office takes. Honestly, I think the decision makes great business sense– unleash Gatsby in a few months and you have it going up against Django Unchained, The Hobbit, Les Miserables, Anna Karenina, and a number of other high profile releases. That’s risky both in terms of revenue and Oscar chances, so while I’m a little bit let down– because I can answer “yes” to each of the questions in the opening paragraph– I understand the driving force behind the move.
Here’s the full trailer to tide you (well, us) over until next summer.